VOGONS


First post, by mtest001

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Hi all,
Long story short: in an effort to get my old P200MMX build accept a "large" 128GB hard-drive (see here: Help me find the best storage option for my Socket7 - Intel Pentium MMX build) I attempted to flash a newer, patched version of the BIOS, but it failed dramatically: the awdflash utility crashed right after clearing the installed BIOS, and now I am left with a dead computer.

At boot I can hear 1 long and by two short beeps, and the computer tries to read the floppy. So it seems at least the bootblock is working.

I tried to boot on a recovery disk which I prepared based on a DOS6.22 boot disk on which I copied the BIOS file and the awdflash utility, and then changed the AUTOEXEC.BAT to run the flash program with /py and /sn options. The computer boots up and reads the floppy for 30 seconds or so, but then nothing happens. The recovery procedure does not seem to work. Unfortunately I do not have an ISA video card so I'm completely blind. Also the keyboard is unresponsive (no light on when pressing num lock). No sure if normal or not.

I'll try to find an ISA video card so at least I can see what happens. In the meantime I am open to any suggestion...

Could it be that my BIOS chip is defective? If so can I try to replace it (where to find those things?) or am I better off trying to find a new mobo?

Thanks.

Mainboard: Shuttle HOT-569 Socket 7 (chipset 430TX, PCI 2.1)
CPU: Pentium MMX 200 @ 225 (3 x 75 MHz)
Memory: 128 MB SDRAM
HDD: IBM DCAA-34330 Deskstar 4 4.3 GB 5400 rpm
Soundblaster live with front 5.25" panel
Accton ISA network card (10 Mbps NE2000 compatible)
5.25 SAMSUNG CD-Master 52E
3.5" Floppy drive
AT keyboard
Serial 3 buttons Logitech mouse M-M35-9F
12 inches VGA screen from TATUNG

/me love my P200MMX@225 Mhz + Voodoo Banshee + SB Live!

Reply 1 of 33, by dormcat

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It might be a bit late now, but be sure to run MemTest86 before any BIOS update. You might have encountered the same problem as I did: I had not one but TWO Gigabyte GA-K8VM800M bricked due to a single strip of faulty DDR SDRAM (I was not aware that faulty RAM could harm BIOS so I kept using it to the replacement MB). Before they died completely they even requested BIOS to be recovered from floppy at startup -- something I had never seen in my three decades of computing experience.

Your Shuttle HOT-569 has the Award BIOS chip socketed (probably made by Atmel) so it's possible to acquire (buy or borrow) an EPROM programmer to rewrite BIOS into it. In my case, unfortunately, BIOS chips (PLCC32 form factor) were soldered on GA-K8VM800M. After calculating the labor and cost of solder, iron, adapter, programmer, plus my amateurish soldering skill, I reluctantly gave up those two MB.

And don't forget to test (and replace if necessary) RAM before any rescue attempt. 168-pin SDRAM can be very cheap (free in some cases) if you know where to look for.

Reply 2 of 33, by zyga64

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If you have another working motherboard you may try "hotflash". It doesn't have to be the same motherboard, preferably if the BIOS chip is the same size 😀
Recommended program is Uniflash: https://soggi.org/motherboards/bios-update-fl … h-utilities.htm

The procedure is as follows:
- boot your working motherboard to dos prompt,
- change directory to the one where you have uniflash and bios image to flash,
- (carefuly) remove it's bios chip,
- (again carefully) insert bios chip from non working motherboard,
- start Uniflash (it should detect chipset and bios chip type),
- try to flash bios image

After success (or failure):
- power computer down,
- insert back it's correct bios chip,
- in case of success try newly flashed bios in (so far) non working motherboard.

It helped me few times before I bought my TL866...

1) VLSI SCAMP /286@20 /4MB /CL-GD5422 /CMI8330
2) i420EX /486DX33 /16MB /TGUI9440 /YMF718+GUS
3) i430FX /K6-2@400 /64MB /Rage Pro PCI /ES1370+ALS100
4) i440BX /P!!!750 /256MB /MX440 /SBLive!+Vibra16s
5) iB75 /3470s /4GB /HD7750 /HDA

Reply 3 of 33, by paradigital

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Just buy a TL866-II.

I’ve not flashed a BIOS on a system directly since buying one back in 2020, very rarely is there a problem, and even if there is you can simply re-flash and try again.

Reply 4 of 33, by mtest001

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zyga64 wrote on 2023-11-15, 19:02:

If you have another working motherboard you may try "hotflash".

Thank you for the tips but unfortunately I do not have an other mobo to try this trick... for now (I may end up having to buy a new mobo).

/me love my P200MMX@225 Mhz + Voodoo Banshee + SB Live!

Reply 5 of 33, by mtest001

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dormcat wrote on 2023-11-15, 18:56:

It might be a bit late now, but be sure to run MemTest86 before any BIOS update.

Good to know indeed ! Well, for next time 😀

/me love my P200MMX@225 Mhz + Voodoo Banshee + SB Live!

Reply 6 of 33, by Babasha

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mtest001 wrote on 2023-11-15, 18:29:
Hi all, Long story short: in an effort to get my old P200MMX build accept a "large" 128GB hard-drive (see here: Help me find the […]
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Hi all,
Long story short: in an effort to get my old P200MMX build accept a "large" 128GB hard-drive (see here: Help me find the best storage option for my Socket7 - Intel Pentium MMX build) I attempted to flash a newer, patched version of the BIOS, but it failed dramatically: the awdflash utility crashed right after clearing the installed BIOS, and now I am left with a dead computer.

At boot I can hear 1 long and by two short beeps, and the computer tries to read the floppy. So it seems at least the bootblock is working.

I tried to boot on a recovery disk which I prepared based on a DOS6.22 boot disk on which I copied the BIOS file and the awdflash utility, and then changed the AUTOEXEC.BAT to run the flash program with /py and /sn options. The computer boots up and reads the floppy for 30 seconds or so, but then nothing happens. The recovery procedure does not seem to work. Unfortunately I do not have an ISA video card so I'm completely blind. Also the keyboard is unresponsive (no light on when pressing num lock). No sure if normal or not.

I'll try to find an ISA video card so at least I can see what happens. In the meantime I am open to any suggestion...

Could it be that my BIOS chip is defective? If so can I try to replace it (where to find those things?) or am I better off trying to find a new mobo?

Thanks.

Mainboard: Shuttle HOT-569 Socket 7 (chipset 430TX, PCI 2.1)
CPU: Pentium MMX 200 @ 225 (3 x 75 MHz)
Memory: 128 MB SDRAM
HDD: IBM DCAA-34330 Deskstar 4 4.3 GB 5400 rpm
Soundblaster live with front 5.25" panel
Accton ISA network card (10 Mbps NE2000 compatible)
5.25 SAMSUNG CD-Master 52E
3.5" Floppy drive
AT keyboard
Serial 3 buttons Logitech mouse M-M35-9F
12 inches VGA screen from TATUNG

Where is you located. Maybe someone near you can help or give ISA videocard for time?

Need help? Begin with photo and model of your hardware 😉

Reply 7 of 33, by pentiumspeed

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Replace the flash bios for a Intel or Amtel, even Winbond, and do a hot swap flash on another board using pflash utility.

I had ran into this issue too and it was bad or low quality flash chip. Would flash then fail on part of it.

Cheers,

Great Northern aka Canada.

Reply 8 of 33, by Horun

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paradigital wrote on 2023-11-15, 19:29:

Just buy a TL866-II.

I’ve not flashed a BIOS on a system directly since buying one back in 2020, very rarely is there a problem, and even if there is you can simply re-flash and try again.

Me neither except for soldered ones and have not hot flashed since but did a few times before and one time it effed up the board I was using to hot flash. Yes it can happen.
I do not recommend hot flashing except as a last resort.... just my experience....

Hate posting a reply and then have to edit it because it made no sense 😁 First computer was an IBM 3270 workstation with CGA monitor. https://archive.org/details/@horun

Reply 9 of 33, by mtest001

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Babasha wrote on 2023-11-15, 23:33:

Where is you located. Maybe someone near you can help or give ISA videocard for time?

Thank you for the proposal... I am in Switzerland, Europe 😀

I think I have one Hercules ISA card somewhere, now I need to find it.

/me love my P200MMX@225 Mhz + Voodoo Banshee + SB Live!

Reply 10 of 33, by dormcat

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paradigital wrote on 2023-11-15, 19:29:

Just buy a TL866-II.

The problem is that a new set of TL866II Plus (clamps and adapters included) costs about the same of a high-end retro system, two good workhorse retro systems, or many more "rescued from dumpsters" systems. 😅

Reply 11 of 33, by mtest001

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pentiumspeed wrote on 2023-11-15, 23:52:

Replace the flash bios for a Intel or Amtel, even Winbond, and do a hot swap flash on another board using pflash utility.

Yes I think it is likely that my BIOS chip is defective, which would explain why the flashing failed in the first place. I need to learn more on replacing BIOS chips... I did not know they were interchangeable...

I was thinking... If I buy a second hand Award BIOS chip with the same part/serial number and replace it, at least so that I can try the bootblock procedure?

/me love my P200MMX@225 Mhz + Voodoo Banshee + SB Live!

Reply 12 of 33, by mtest001

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This is a picture of my chip. Can I replace it with any Award "PCI/PMP 586" or are there other things to check?

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/me love my P200MMX@225 Mhz + Voodoo Banshee + SB Live!

Reply 13 of 33, by technokater

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You need the part number of the chip, which is unfortunately below the sticker. The sticker is just kind of a proof-of-license for Award BIOS but says nothing about the actual chip type.

Reply 14 of 33, by Vynix

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Since your board tries to seek the floppy drive, there's some hope for recovery.

I've faced that with a very similar board (mine was a HOT-555A Rev-3.2), I tried to flash a patched BIOS, and wound up in the same boat.

I prepared a DOS boot disk with AWDFlash, the patched BIOS and a modified AUTOEXEC.BAT written to tell AWDFLASH to directly flash the patched BIOS without promoting anything, although this assumes you have access to another working PC with a floppy drive and have some spare floppy disks.

So with the floppy disk prepared, I turned off the bricked PC, put the floppy disk in it, then turned it back on, and after a few minutes, I heard the floppy drive seek back and forth, I let it sit for roughly an hour and a half just to be sure that it flashed the EEPROM, and after rebooting, it seemed to have recovered.

It's been a year and I still have no idea what went down.

Proud owner of a Shuttle HOT-555A 430VX motherboard and two wonderful retro laptops, namely a Compaq Armada 1700 [nonfunctional] and a HP Omnibook XE3-GC [fully working :p]

Reply 16 of 33, by mtest001

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Vynix wrote on 2023-11-16, 10:43:

So with the floppy disk prepared, I turned off the bricked PC, put the floppy disk in it, then turned it back on, and after a few minutes, I heard the floppy drive seek back and forth, I let it sit for roughly an hour and a half just to be sure that it flashed the EEPROM, and after rebooting, it seemed to have recovered.

Thank you for the feedback. Indeed that's the procedure and I have prepared the floppy but unfortunately it did not work and I don't know why, and worst of all since there is no video I can't tell if Awdflash throws an error or what not. I waited 20 minutes but not 1.5 hour as you did 😀

Luckily today I was able to locate my old ISA Hercules video card (picture attached). If this works at least I will have some visibility.

I still have a few things to try before giving up. First of all I did prepare the floppy but based on a MS-DOS 6.2 boot image. I changed the AUTOEXEC.BAT to trigger the Awdflash but forgot to remove the CONFIG.SYS so maybe that is creating some kind of issues (I know that awdflash needs quite a lot of memory).

I'll keep you posted.

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/me love my P200MMX@225 Mhz + Voodoo Banshee + SB Live!

Reply 18 of 33, by mtest001

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technokater wrote on 2023-11-16, 11:14:

Maybe this guide helps.

Yes, thank you, this is the procedure I have followed but I forgot step 3 "Delete the config.sys file". So maybe that's the reason why it did not work. Also older versions of awdflash do not accept the /r flag to automatically reboot after flashing.

So I will try once again. The only complication is that I do not have permanent access to a 1.44MB floppy drive at the moment, and I do not want to buy one for a single use like that, so the logistic is a bit complicated at the moment but a friend of mine to going to lend me one so hopefully between that and the ISA card to see what happens I should be able to unlock the situation or if not have a much clearer idea of what is going on.

/me love my P200MMX@225 Mhz + Voodoo Banshee + SB Live!

Reply 19 of 33, by DerBaum

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mtest001 wrote on 2023-11-15, 18:29:

...find a new mobo?...

if everything fails, maybe you can find somebody that can burn a rom for you (either local or per mail).
I would not buy parts before that option is from the table.

If you are in europe, i could burn a rom for you and send you over a free floppy drive... because i have like 50 😁

FCKGW-RHQQ2